magdalena abakanowicz, "melchior, jonas and the eight white faces"
apr. 17 - may 29, 2004
taguchi fine art, ltd.
Born in Falenty on the outskirts of Warsaw, Poland in 1930, Magdalena Abakanowicz now resides in Warsaw. One of the most prominent sculptor in the world. In the 1960's got a reputation as a truly creative artist with her woven works, the "Abakans". In the 1970's established her fame with the installation work of a group of standing figures symbolically representing human body, the "Crowds". Ever since, she has been making bold challenges to our conventional thoughts with her really experimental works.
Her recent one person show includes Metropolitan Museum in New York (1999), Kunst-Station Sankt Peter Koeln (2001) and many outdoor monumental works commissioned as "Katarsis" in Pistoia in Italy, "Birds of Knowledge" in Milwalky in the States and "Negev" in Jerusalem in Israel, etc. She is very vigorously working all over the world.
Cruel history of PolandShe was born as a daughter in the family of landlord and thus spent comfortable, wealthy childhood. In 1944, a year before the outbreak of the World War II, her family was ousted from home due to the communist revolution. From 1948 she studied art at the art schools in Gydnia and Sopot near Gdansk in northern Poland. She moved to Warsaw in 1950 and finished her study at the art academy in Warsaw in 1954.
She herself experienced the absurd war, totalitarianism by the Nazis and oppression of individuals by communism. The cruel history of her native country has inevitably influenced on her way of thinking and attitude to the work.
Great concern and sympathy in JapanShe came to Japan for the first time in 1976, to have a lecture and to participate in a group exhibition "Fiber Works Europe and Japan" held at the National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto and the National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo. She visited Kyoto and Nara and this trip gave her an opportunity to get acquaintance with people who have great interest in her art and later establish "Abakano-kai" association, which invited the artist again to Japan for her lecture in Kyoto, Tokyo and Sapporo in 1982. In 1991 her great retrospective exhibition subtitled "memory, silence and life" started from Sezon Museum of Art in Tokyo and traveled to the Museum of Modern Art, Shiga, Art Tower, Mito and Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art. The works based on her great insight into human being and society gave Japanese people deep impression and great sympathy through this exhibition.
Her works got housed in many Japanese museum collections, including above four museums, Tokushima Modern Art Museum, Nagoya City Museum and so on. People appreciate her works greatly in these museums and Abakanowicz became one of the most well-known contemporary artist in Japan.
New DevelopmentThis installation at taguchi fine art, ltd. would be the occasion to exhibit her recent works after an interval of thirteen years in Japan. Two bronze sculptures and eight ink drawings are installed.
We got into the hopeful new century, but in reality, we still have many oppressions, disputes and war, which are changing forms and those conditions are getting very harsh. The mutual understanding with others have not been accomplished yet. Therefore, taguchi fine art, ltd. is very much honored to be able to make Abakanowicz's recent works on view, especially here in Japan where is under difficult situation currently. We do hope viewers encouraged to consider about the reason of our existence, meaning of freedom and the peace . . .
We had a gallery talk by Ms. Kuniko Lucy Kato, the leading scholar on the artist and the author of "Tangible Eternity", on the first day, April 17th.
checklist of the installation
1. "Face-1" from the cycle "White Faces", 2004, indian ink, gouache on paper, 42 x 30 cm
2. "Face-2" from the cycle "White Faces", 2004, indian ink, gouache on paper, 42 x 30 cm
3. "Face-3" from the cycle "White Faces", 2004, indian ink, gouache on paper, 42 x 30 cm
4. "Face-4" from the cycle "White Faces", 2004, indian ink, gouache on paper, 42 x 30 cm
5. "Face-5" from the cycle "White Faces", 2004, indian ink, gouache on paper, 42 x 30 cm
6. "Face-6" from the cycle "White Faces", 2004, indian ink, gouache on paper, 42 x 30 cm
7. "Face-7" from the cycle "White Faces", 2004, indian ink, gouache on paper, 42 x 30 cm
8. "Face-8" from the cycle "White Faces", 2004, indian ink, gouache on paper, 42 x 30 cm
9. "Melchior", 2002, bronze, 180 x 27 x 55 cm
10. "Jonas", 2003, bronze, 180 x 27 x 55 cm